Development of a method for the preparation or enrichment of fibrous materials suitable for toxicological testing (PANTox)

  • Project number: F 2556
  • Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)
  • Status: Completed Project


Carbon fibres (CF) are increasingly being used as a fibre composite material due to the growing demand for lighter components in the automotive and aerospace industries, but also in the construction industry. However, health-relevant fibre dusts can be released during the use and processing of CF and their composites. For pitch-based CF, first results from in vivo testings are expected in summer 2023. In these testings it is investigated whether cancer occurs after injection under the peritoneum (intraperitoneal application, i.p. tests). For PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based CF, the preparation and enrichment of critical fibre fragments into a suitable test material is more complex due to the less critical fracture behaviour.

The aim of the project PANTox, which was funded by the German BGHM, was to develop a procedure to generate a test material from a commercially available PAN carbon fibre using mechanical-physical methods. The generated test material had to meet the requirements for i.p. tests. Finally, the goal was realised in a two-step process: First, the CF is comminuted by means of a ball mill and then the number of health-relevant fibre fragments per mg of test material is increased in a sedimentation process. Pending on the approval by an external expert panel, the required amount of test material can then be provided for the in vivo carcinogenicity tests. The data thus obtained on a possible carcinogenic effect of carbon fibre fragments could then serve as a basis for further regulatory measures if necessary.

Further Information


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